Hundreds of London care homes don’t meet safety standards, London Fire Brigade finds

Hundreds of London care homes don’t meet safety standards, London Fire Brigade finds

Over 500 care homes across Greater London have been informed by the London Fire Brigade that their fire safety arrangements are deficient following inspections conducted since the Grenfell Tower Fire, according to official figures.

Data on inspection outcomes provided to London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore show that nearly half of the 1,226 fire safety audits of care homes across the capital since June 2017 have led to either an enforcement notice being issued because of a failure to meet legal requirements, or a “notice of deficiencies” being served, advising the person responsible for fire safety on the premises in question to make improvements.

A total of 51 care homes across the capital have been issued with enforcement notices and 498 have received a notice of deficiencies since Grenfell. The information was provided by London Mayor Sadiq Khan in a written answer to a question by Dismore, the Labour AM who represents the Barnet & Camden constituency.

The Assembly Labour Group says the Brigade has confirmed that, as of March, it had conducted follow up visits to 30 of the homes that had received enforcement notices, and found that all are now “broadly compliant” with fire safety standards. The remaining 21 are to be checked on in the near future.

Unlike an enforcement notice, a notice of deficiencies does not carry legal force, but a failure by the person responsible for fire safety at the premises in question can be taken into account by the Brigade during future inspections. Deficiencies can include the wrong sort of materials filling gaps around services pipes, inadequate risk assessments and the presence of combustible materials in building emergency escape routes. These notices are also followed up with further visits Brigade safety inspectors.

Dismore has also learned from the Mayor that Bromley is the borough with the highest number of care homes receiving either an enforcement notice or a notice of deficiencies out of the. Its total of 71 out of the overall 549 was followed by Croydon with 44, Waltham Forest with 34 and Lewisham with 29. The lowest numbers were in Merton and Hammersmith & Fulham, which had five each.

Dismore said: “The care home inspections being undertaken by the LFB, alongside the enforcement notices issued, are absolutely vital measures. However, it is extremely concerning that in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, fire regulations are still being routinely flouted in the places that you would least expect them to be. It is particularly concerning that some of the most vulnerable Londoners are being put at urgent and unnecessary risk.”

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